Umbilical cord blood has so many medical uses, scientists are starting to find them by accident.
In a recent case, researchers looking into a disease related to skin grafts identified a part of umbilical cord blood that can lower inflammation and immune disorders caused by those grafts.
At the same time, they found those same proteins, called soluble NKG2D ligands, could be used to treat similar conditions that affect the skin, including eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and perhaps even alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.
The discovery, reported in the latest edition of the European Journal of Immunology
, comes as the United States marks National Cord Blood Awareness Month in July.